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March 20, 2011

How are you influenced by freedom?

Freedom: it's a concept that we talk about in many ways. Lots of folks crave freedom, both personally and creatively, while others may find the idea of complete freedom quite daunting. Heck, some of us do our best work in resistance of boundaries. Do you find personal projects completely liberating or do you find yourself overwhelmed without the parameters of an established result? On a deeper level, what seems true about creative freedom also seems true about all other freedoms...or are they different? What are your thoughts?

Share your ideas and help shape the dialogue in a meaningful way. Your contribution makes all the difference in building a stronger community. Remember, participation is caring.

03.07.11 / 6:53 AM
"We hold in our hands, the most precious gift of all: Freedom. The freedom to express our art. Our love. The freedom to be who we want to be. We are not going to give that freedom away and no one shall take it from us!" Yeah, we just went way back to 1991 and quoted "Northern Exposure". Why? Because we're all free to use our experiences as a foundation for sharing.
03.11.11 / 11:45 AM
Freedom for me does not equal a lack of boundaries.
It is not an individualistic notion, I relate it to the consequences of my actions right away. I tend to be a bit of a socialist when it comes to the relationship between personal freedom + the common good. I put the latter first. I like to think that I'm fortunate to be "free" to make that decision and that this is not something forced upon me.

"It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them."
- Mark Twain
03.11.11 / 9:44 PM
Creative Freedom: Ideas flow easily...often too easy. I write a lot of stuff down and at that point the ideas are nothing more than a weird collection of "stuff". Over time I sit with the "stuff", things slowly separate, salient ideas rise to the surface, other "stuff" stays at the bottom. I execute projects at my own pace and they take way too long. I need to be better at creating a personal sense of urgency to get things finished. I find the formality of a deadline helps motivate me to make more instinctual decisions, leading to work that I feel better about. Gosh this is tough to explain!

Personal Freedom: I over-invest in the good of the group / community, hoping that by pooling our collective resources of free-thought we'll dream bigger, make better and live happier. If we all chaotically ran through our lives making decisions based strictly on what's best for us personally, we'd measure progress and success in lifetimes not generations.
03.14.11 / 10:20 AM
@ constanz_a : i'd love to hear more from you regarding your statement, specifically when you speak of how you relate freedom to "the consequence of your actions right away". i would love to hear more.

@ tmonroe : let me preface my questions by stating that i totally get what you're speaking about in regards to creative freedom and my questions are directed at myself as much as you. do you think that you really need to create more urgency for yourself? i battle with creating unattainable expectations for myself. lately, i've been trying to make consistent chips at the block of an idea and losing the mantra of this needs to be done now, now, now.

also, do you ever feel like the ideas that don't get used should see the light of day somehow? do you mourn an idea that doesn't get to live?
03.14.11 / 10:42 AM
i don't think i have handled freedom well. my life is a highly privileged one and i haven't been dealt a tough hand or even really had to overcome any hardships. (i'd like to take this time to be clear with the universe, i'm not asking for them)

when i say that i don't handle freedom well i mean that i haven't always made the best of my opportunities, and i feel that is because i've had the freedom to do so. i have had the freedom of time and talent and have thrown away a lot of my free time and ignored a lot of my free talent.

which leads me to my freedom to brood, cater to my neurosis and exercise self-pity. i have had the freedom to employ editors that close doors in my mind and tell me that i am not special and i pay them very well and they are incredible at their jobs.


in spite of my misuse of my freedoms, they remain and i have decided to take advantage of my time, my talents and most importantly, my freedom to change. i have decided to freely exercise my right to make mistakes instead of worrying that i will make them and to be an intimate spirit.

i have the free will to do so.
03.14.11 / 11:11 PM
For a while now I've made a conscious effort to become more empathetic. I know I've always been a considerate person, but I actually am focusing on getting rid of most of my negative energy (god, I start sounding new-agey) by constantly putting myself in other people's shoes.

This is how I think of freedom, now. I am free to do many things, as I am also free to pay attention or disregard other people's experience of my actions. So, it's not a "free for all", I won't just exercise my freedoms without thinking of the immediate consequences those actions may have on the world around me.

Anyway, I hope that explained it a little better. I'm working on all of this by the way, still have my jerkish moments. Working hard, though.

@bcgrabell really love what you're saying about the freedom to make mistakes. I wish that was always true, I'd be much more prone to experiment for sure. It reminds me of school, when you are the only one held accountable for your creative decisions. Or that's how I felt about it anyway.

@tmonroe collective resources + collective thinking = bigger dreams. (yes.)
03.19.11 / 7:20 PM
As an artist-entrepreneur, I am at choice…..
I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery. ~Author Unknown

Being in business for myself is a challenge…..
In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

I am responsible for my own happiness…..
We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. ~William Faulkner

Being true to myself means I identify my life purpose and mission…..
There are two freedoms - the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought. ~Charles Kingsley

Developing my talents and potential are on me…..
Freedom means choosing your burden. ~Hephzibah Menuhin

It can be difficult but gets more comfortable with experience…..
You have freedom when you're easy in your harness. ~Robert Frost

But here’s the good news…..
Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better. ~Albert Camus
03.19.11 / 7:59 PM
Dear Rebecca,

How do you handle your freedom in your work as an artist-entrepreneur?


“Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value”

Sir Ken Robinson

Total freedom is too much for me to choose from most of the time.

If I don’t have a deadline or a parameter, I invent a structure to do my best work.

I will be more productive if I make three rules for myself.

For example, here are today’s random rules for my studio time…….

The art needs to

1 include a red circle

2. express care and complexity

3. be finished in 15 minutes

Iteration happens after I have a start.

I’m then flexible to start with this idea and turn into a better or more meaningful something else.

If I get stuck, I give myself three more but different "rules" to keep going in order to find an " original idea that has value"


We'll post the topic to start the conversation. Where it goes is up to you.

Sunday t Sunday

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